We look ahead to this 2023 Women’s World Cup Group D fixture with our China vs England preview and prediction.
China vs England Stats: Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer has England as heavy favourites to win, giving them a 65.1% chance of victory.
- England will top the group with a draw or a win. Wild permutations aside, China need to better Denmark’s result against Haiti to qualify.
- China have a good record against England, having lost just one of their five games against the Lionesses to date (W3 D1).
England’s performances at the 2023 Women’s World Cup have been solid rather than spectacular so far, but we all know tournament success is about how you finish, not how you start. Two 1-0 wins against Haiti and Denmark in their opening two group games see them sit atop Group D on six points, and Sarina Wiegman’s side are in a commanding position to progress as group winners. They require just a point against China in Adelaide to do just that.
Slender victories are nothing new to the Lionesses at this stage of tournament football. England have won their last seven Women’s World Cup group stage matches, and six of those wins have come by a one-goal margin.
China won their last match against Haiti, but currently sit third in the group despite having the same number of points, goal difference and goals scored as Denmark in second. The Danes are ranked higher in the group on head-to-head record after they beat China on Matchday 1, so the likeliest way China can progress is to better Denmark’s result when Lars Søndergaard’s side take on Haiti.
While the permutations are easy for England if they win or draw, a defeat sees things get rather complicated. If China and Denmark win, all three sides will have six points. Goal difference, goals scored, and head-to-head records would then come into play.
The omens for England in this game are good. They’ve won their final group stage game at each of the previous five Women’s World Cups they’ve appeared in and have scored in each of their last 15 matches in the tournament. Should they find the net in this game, they would be the first team to score in 16 consecutive matches in the competition.
Whether or not they can go deep is another matter. Keira Walsh was their latest first-choice player to suffer a serious-looking knee injury. Although initial reports are positive on her outlook – she fortunately did not suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury – many will still question whether England’s depth is strong enough to get them through more difficult opposition.
China vs England Head-to-Head
This will be the sixth meeting between China and England across all competitions and the first since October 2015 in the Dewellbon Cup (a 2-1 victory for China). The Asian side have a good record against England, having lost just one of their five games against the Lionesses to date (W3 D1), with that defeat coming in April 2015 (2-1).
China vs England Prediction
Despite China’s good head-to-head record against England, the Lionesses have a fearsome recent World Cup record and should be too good in this one. Wiegman’s side are given a 65.1% of topping the group with a perfect record. A point would be enough to still top the group, and that comes in at 21.9%. A China victory – which would be a shock – is 13%. That figure is very similar to their overall chances of qualifying for the last 16, which the supercomputer rates as a 17% chance.
China vs England Squads
China: Pan Hongyan, Xu Huan, Zhu Yu, Gao Chen, Wu Haiyan, Dou Jiaxing, Wang Linlin, Li Mengwen, Chen Qiaozhu, Yao Wei, Wu Chengshu, Yang Lina, Yao Lingwei, Zhang Linyan, Shen Mengyu, Zhang Rui, Zhang Xin, Gu Yasha, Lou Jiahui, Tang Jiali, Wang Shanshan, Wang Shuang, Xiao Yuyi
England: Mary Earps, Lucy Bronze, Niamh Charles, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood, Millie Bright, Lauren James, Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly, Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, Jordan Nobbs, Hannah Hampton, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Esme Morgan, Jess Carter, Laura Coombs, Chloe Kelly, Bethany England, Katie Zelem, Ellie Roebuck, Katie Robinson, Alessia Russo.